Top listeners:

skip_previous play_arrow skip_next
00:00 00:00
  • cover play_arrow

    Premier Christian Radio Your voice of hope!

London East and South East

Accused ex-priest ‘never gave’ boys choice over how he caned them

todayNovember 23, 2017 32

share close

Andrew Soper, 74, allegedly molested 10 pupils during his time as headmaster and senior priest at fee-paying St Benedict’s School in Ealing, west London in the 1970s and 80s.

Prosecutor Gillian Etherton QC quizzed the defendant on the “extraordinary” similarities between some of the alleged victims’ stories.

They claimed Soper “searched them for a book under the ruse of patting to touch their bottom” and offered three strokes of the cane instead of six “severe lashes” if they took their trousers and pants down.

The defendant accepted he had checked boys for “padding” and had changed his account to police on “calmer recollection” of events of some 30 years ago.

But he denied bargaining over the cane, saying: “I never gave that sort of an option because I would never give a boy six strokes of the cane, that’s far too much.

“I normally gave two or three.”

He told jurors incidents had been interpreted in a “sexual way” against a “tsunami of media attention as I am named fairly frequently”.

He cited a “backdrop of heavy media attention for the last 10 years” including a blog and “victim” discussion group, documentaries on Channel 4, Channel 5, Panorama, and news articles naming him and the school.

He said: “Against all that you have then got money, of course, which is a great incentive and the more elaborate the story, the more money you get.”

He went on: “I think, if I’m right, that seven out of 10 complainants left St Benedict’s before they completed their education for various reasons and none of them seem to have had, understandably, any love for the school.

“Also I’m associated in the media and public with a number of people who have been accused, and in some cases pleaded guilty, to child abuse in a relatively small school within the same time.”

He denies the 19 alleged offences of indecent assault, indecency with a child, and buggery allegedly committed against 10 boys.

A former Roman Catholic priest has blamed a “tsunami” of media attention for almost identical accounts of boys he is accused of sexually abusing at a Catholic school.

Written by: Miriam Emenike

Rate it

Previous post


Rev Mark Edwards MBE – Life In Foster Care

Premier Drive Mark Edwards spent the majority of his childhood in foster care and then in a children’s home. Following this, he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and admitted to the local mental institution. All of this is documented in his new book 'Life After Care', which reveals the struggles he and his family endured.In this honest and gritty chat with Loretta, Mark shares a number of sensitive and distressing things which may not be suitable for everyone, […]

todayNovember 22, 2017 50